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Unread 11-16-2011, 10:09 AM   #1
J-Rad
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Shower: Exterior Wall - Vapor barrier and waterproofing (Homelux)?

I gutted our master bath (which is on the 2nd floor) and have now begin reconstruction of the shower. My goal is for the shower to be waterproof, so I purchased a product called Homelux (similar to the Schluter-KERDI products that everyone here seems to be a fanboy of).

The issue is that one wall of the shower is an exterior wall. There is a vapor barrier on the outside wall, currently looks to be about 3 MIL polyethylene. I plan to leave the poly in place and add 15 lb felt to all 3 walls, including the exterior wall, underneath the cement board. Once the cement board is up, I will install the Homelux on top of the cement board as an underlayment to the tile.

I understand the concept of the proverbial "moisture sandwich", however, does that really apply in this case? The only thing being sandwiched in the approach above is the cement board and that is not prone to the moisture issues that gypsum faces. So, is that really a concern?

I've included the photo below for reference if that's any help (it's more a photo of the shower pan but anyway...).
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Last edited by jgleason; 11-16-2011 at 03:03 PM. Reason: please use the paperclip icon and attach images. Don't use the img tag.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 10:20 AM   #2
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Welcome back, J-Rad. Please put a first name in a permanent signature line for us to use.

Not familiar with the Homelux product, but if it's a direct bonded waterproofing membrane meeting ANSI A118.10 it is suitable for the use.

But if you use that you really don't want any sort of moisture barrier behind your wallboard.

In your current situation, you would also wanna defeat the poly sheeting you have on the exterior wall.

Easier method would be to pull up the bottom of that poly (if it's at least 4 mil thick) and drape it inside the pan liner, install similar poly or roofing felt on the other two walls and eliminate the waterproofing membrane all together.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 11:29 AM   #3
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Cant see from your pictures, but I hope you didn't cut those corners and caulk them. They look really clean, maybe you did an outside/push through fold.

If you cut them and caulked you should scrap that pan liner. Per the Red highlights, you can do an inner or an outer fold

you also might want to consider furring/notching out the studs so that the combo of felt/poly and the PVC liner doesn't bow out the base of the shower toward the drain (yellow highlights)

Also you didn't mention a pre-slope. Click Liberry and take a lookee at the mud pan construction.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 11:52 AM   #4
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Thanks, Brian. Yes, those corners are actually tucked inbetween the studs and caulked, not cut at all. The only inner folds I have are near the curb. I am not real happy with those because they almost certainly will bow out the cement board...I'll have to look at my options for resolving that issue.

Also, the pan is presloped (1/4"+ per foot). I successfully completed my first mini-leak test last night - held 1" water for 4 hours. I will repeat the test tonight - fill it about 2"+ and leave it for 24 hours. Am I doin' it right? I hope so, since I've been reading this stuff for weeks.

I'm considering the proposal by CX about drapping the poly over the inside of the liner then putting in the top layer of mud. However, I have concerns with that approach. My thought is to simply buy some 6 MIL or greater poly and drape it seamlessly around all three walls and over the shower pan liner. Then install the cement board over the top of it and build out the rest of the shower pan. While it sounds good and certainly would be the easiest solution, the problem with this approach is that the cement board fasteners would puncture the poly barrier, thus compromising any waterproof function it would've provided...which is the attractive part of the Homelux solution; it goes on after the wallboard - no fastners to puncture it. Hmmmm...

BTW, here is the tech specs and install instructions for the Homelux:
Homelux
Tech Specs
Install Instructions

- Jared

Last edited by J-Rad; 11-16-2011 at 12:14 PM.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 12:07 PM   #5
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I'm no pro, but the caulk worries me, as a possible mold farm. Maybe CX will chime in and let us know if that's a good or bad idea.

As to Poly being pierced by the fasteners, its a shower, not a high pressure water tank. At least that's what I told myself when I used felt paper.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 12:11 PM   #6
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Interesting. 100% Silicon is used between the bottom drain and liner. Why would it not be OK to seal the corner? I'll be interested in hearing opinions on that as well.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 12:31 PM   #7
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Pretty sure the reason they even incorporated Microban in Latisil 100% silicone is due to mold growth and it still only inhibits the growth.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 12:43 PM   #8
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Jared, there is no problem with fasteners penetrating the moisture barrier behind the wall board. That system has been used effectively for many decades.

The waterproofing membrane you've chosen does indicate it meets A118.10, but has a caution against use in submerged applications. I'd be less confident of it than of some other liquid-applied membranes available to you, but the Homelux is technically acceptable for the application.

The silicone caulking between the pan liner and bottom drain flange is meant to act as a gasket in the mechanically clamped application, not as a sealant. Very different application than trying to use the silicone as a sealant in a joint between two pieces of PVC liner material.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 07:29 PM   #9
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OK, thanks to Brian and CX for giving me a complex. I'm redoing the liner....not even the original question I brought here.

What I decided to do is use my JobMax multi-tool to cut a slit into the studs near my curb. See photos below:

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This allows me to create cleanly tucked outside corners. I will then use X-15 solvent to seal those corners as opposed to silicon.

Any issues with this approach? Should I even worry about sealing the corners?

See, I told you they gave me a complex.
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Last edited by jgleason; 11-17-2011 at 09:31 AM.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 08:29 PM   #10
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Let the record accurately reflect that at least one of us sees no way those notches will help you make an effective dam corner in your liner.

But he'll be watchin' so's to learn somethin' if possible.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 08:32 PM   #11
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What's the icon for 'a little sacry' ?
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Unread 11-16-2011, 09:12 PM   #12
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Prepare to be amazed...one way or the other.
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Unread 11-17-2011, 08:30 AM   #13
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I gets it. But I am just guessing. Like me, I doubt he has a table saw handy so furring strips are out.

He doesn't want to pull his support boards between the studs to notch em and still needs some way to cut and fold for a tight fit to eliminate bowing the base, while still going over the curb. Hence the slots.

He will still need the PVC outer corners.
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Unread 11-17-2011, 11:23 AM   #14
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^ Correct.

This was much easier than furring strips or notching - took maybe 10 extra minutes to cut slots with the multi-tool. It gives a much, much cleaner corner than folding ever could because PVC doesn't like to fold flat.

Here it is:

New pan liner laid out...
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Insert corner into slot...
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Pull corner through (cut is parallel only to the top of the curb)...
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Completed corner tuck - much, much cleaner than a folded corner...
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Add a piece to the top of the curb...
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Tuck it under the curb a few inches...
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Tucked piece in place...
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Add dam corner and tuck in between folded pieces in the slot...
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Seal all folded and added pieces with X-15 solvent.

Thoughts?
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Last edited by jgleason; 11-17-2011 at 12:40 PM. Reason: please use the paperclip icon and attach images. Don't use the img tag.
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Unread 11-17-2011, 02:36 PM   #15
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Jared, one thing we need you to do is stop linking to off-site photo storage facilities. They tend to change urls or other such, which makes your photos disappear and render most of your thread useless to future visitors. We much prefer that you attach the photos using the little paper-clip icon above the Reply dialog box.

I think if you were to fool around with that liner material in that location a little you'd discover you can make that corner without any notch or fold or extra piece and just a single cut and the dam corner.

But I been wrong before.
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